WESTBURY, N.Y., Feb. 4 (UPI) -- Jewelry and home furnishing store Fortunoff, with 20 U.S. locations, filed for bankruptcy Monday and agreed to a purchase offer from Lord & Taylor.
Lord & Taylor Chairman Richard Baker said NRDC Equity Partners, which owns Lord & Taylor, was prepared to invest $100 million in Fortunoff and was prepared to upgrade its operations "a bit more" to make it more upscale.
"We believe Fortunoff has the opportunity to be a national chain," Baker told New York Newsday, predicting sales could double in the next few years.
Retail analyst Howard Davidowitz said Fortunoff, a mainstay on Long Island for 85 years, hasn't met the challenge to keep up with Wal-Mart, which also sells jewelry, and Bed Bath & Beyond, which competes in the home furnishing arena.
"They were getting squeezed," Davidowitz said. "You've got to grow in retailing, because you've always got killer competition."
Sources close to the company said Fortunoff's fortunes have declined since the death in 2000 of Alan Fortunoff, sound of founder Max Fortunoff, the report said.